Home  /  Everything Else: Article  /  Why I cried watching '7 Letters' at BIFF (and met Jack Neo, Eric Khoo and Boo Junfeng).

Why I cried watching '7 Letters' at BIFF (and met Jack Neo, Eric Khoo and Boo Junfeng).

By InCinemas  /  03 Oct 2015 (Saturday)

Okay before I answer the above I must explain why I watched 7 Letters at BIFF.

I used to avoid Singapore films when I am overseas. I mean, I can watch them when I get back home right? So I should go for those exotic titles from like, Kazakhstan which I wouldn’t have an opportunity to catch anywhere else. 


All that changed at BIFF two years ago, when I ignored Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, With Love in favour of foreign delights like Er Tostik and the Dragon (which is really from Kazakhstan and is in fact the country’s first 3D animated feature).

The same way that, I would walk past the chicken rice stall to eat KFC back in Singapore.

But then to my horror, the chicken rice uncle's shop has closed down - Tan Pin Pin’s film was banned in Singapore and I kicked myself for not seeing it when it was right under my nose.

So feeling repentant, I decided to show some SG50 love this year and turn up for the screening of 7 Letters, even though it shared a time-slot with Tang Wei’s A Tale of Three Cities and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendour.

And I cried (a lot). Watch the final part “Grandma Positioning System” by Kelvin Tong and you will know why.


Part of me was embarrassed, because, the Koreans next to me don’t understand Teochew, neither do they eat cai tow kueh. So they probably thought I was crazy (and the film too).

And when the credits ended I felt sorry for the directors because everyone was just getting up to leave. But surprisingly, about half the audience stayed back for the Q&A. Some of them even asked pretty good questions about Singapore’s multiracial coexistence and the vampiric abilities of Pontianaks.

In fact, the Q&A went so well that Eric Khoo couldn’t resist showing his true Singaporean colours by 'shamelessly' promoting his other film, In The Room. Jack Neo then gave the Koreans a masterclass in a good-ol' 'buay paiseh' fashion by explaining that although his movie Ah Boys to Men was not screening at BIFF, they can watch it on Youtube!

Boo Junfeng was too humble to talk about his feature debut Sandcastle that made waves at BIFF five years ago. So the Korean MC did it for him anyway.

Apparently, the world does care about Singapore films after all.

More news and updates for Busan Film Festival on our Instagram page (@InCinemasSG)

You say

Get Showtimes